GENEVA,SWITZERLAND – Perusing the Geneva Auto Show today with my daughter asking questions about cubic centimetres, litres per 100km, and the genesis of the phrase “horsepower,” was a proud moment – granted our picks for best in show were quite a bit different.
She tended towards the Cadillac Escalade, the Range Rover Defender and similar 4×4 beasts, while I admired the mixed heritage of Touring Superleggera’s Disco Volante, an Alpha Romeo based two seater that recalls the revolutionary 1963 Corvette styling.
The vintage two-cylinder Subaru 360 on display was another favourite.
In response to my daughter’s questions on the relation of engine displacement to fuel efficiency, I pointed out that the 360 was about 1/10th the size of the engine in the Escalade.
The Ford “EcoBoost” exhibit was a very cool way to illustrate the workings of an internal combustion engine and much more convincing than my charade of a firing piston chamber.
This was my third or fourth show in Geneva, and as always taking in the new car curves and engine specs on display is a great afternoon by any measure; however, the company of my girl Friday made this year especially fun.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – No, this is not an infomercial and yes, for the first time in several years I found myself checking out Chevy’s new lineup, as I perused the wares at the 82nd Geneva Auto Show.
Chevy’s Volt, which premiered in 2009, was awarded European Car of the year for 2012 based (partly at least) on its ability to travel nearly 60 km propelled solely by an electric engine, after which it can continue another 500+ km (numbers vary by usage and between US and EU ratings).
Sixty kilometers may not get you to grandma’s and back but consider that people in Switzerland “travel” an average 33 km per day. That translates into a lot of zero emission milk runs.
With a CHF50,000 base sticker price however, it may not fly off the shelves as Detroit is finding out, production has been temporarily suspended due to an overstock.
Geneva, Switzerland – I think the first car I ever dreamed about was a Pontiac Trans Am, shortly after Burt Reynolds “product endorsed” the black Firebird in the utterly cheesy ”Smokey and the Bandit.”
The next twenty years of my life were spent dreaming about and scheming to own a muscle car, and sadly, when I could afford to own one, my pragmatism nixed the idea.
That is kind of how I felt viewing the lineup at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show this week.
I couldn’t help but lust the busty lines of the new Lamborghini Aventador – I am a man after all – but honestly the cars I found truly sexy, were among the wide array of new small to mid-size economy minded vehicles.
This is not just about getting older – I continue to be a motorcycle fanatic, partly I’m sure for the adrenaline rush – it is also about the sea change in cultural attitudes and sensibilities about what is cool, sublime, sophisticated, radical, intense and all of the other marketing indicators that are used to inform the car manufacturing industry.